Thursday, June 30, 2005

on a morning walk through palmer park

on a morning walk to loosen my muscles, i came across a man on a park bench with a simple mountain bicycle frame and bags that clearly pointed out he is a traveler. his clothing was old-fashioned looking, mostly light colors and browns. pants and a button-up shirt. simple brown leather shoes. i kept walking and saw another man, much the same, on another bench about 200 feet away. the first man had a reddish beard, the second a blonde beard. i returned to the first man, eager with questions (the second man looked too tired for conversation, his hand covering his eyes and elbows resting on his knees).

the first man has been traveling for eight (EIGHT!) years like this, although he says he does "hitch-riding" [sticks his thumb out] mostly now because of his weak knees. This is his life, without a home. i asked if he ever has destinations or if he just wanders, and he replied that he often travels to places that he dreams about.

i offered him food and a place to shower if he needed and he politely declined, taking a rain check.

he was dressed so politely... i wonder if this is to not scare off strangers or draw attention from police. or perhaps this is just the way he's always dressed. most likely.


the first man's name is ezra. after writing the story above, i went out again to give him a copy of "women awheel." ezra had disappeared, so i walked to the other bench and gave it to his friend, whose name is hans (i think).

when i was talking to ezra earlier, i told him i saw someone nearby with a bicycle and panniers and asked if this was his travel partner. oh, he's up there? he asked, unaware that his friend was so close by. i thought it was interesting that neither man knew that the other was in the same park.